Bone, by Jeff Smith (New Color Edition)

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Woody
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Bone, by Jeff Smith (New Color Edition)

Post by Woody » Sun Jan 23, 2005 2:10 am

I've read the one volume edition of Bone. It is grander than grand. It is greater than great. It is such a marvelous piece of extraordinary work. I could go on and on, but I'm sure a lot of you have read it as well.

In any case, as we all know Bone was illustrated entirely in black and white. Smith has a mastery of the brush unlike any other. He's a genius with it. Bone, though black and white, does not feel like it lacks anything. Color is not always a requirement. Look at Sin City. Look at Blankets. Akira. Maus. From Hell. The list goes on. A lot of people seem to think that color is better than black and white, but it's not. They're equal. Both can be used to very effective means. Color simply dominates because, well, the world is a colorful place.

Jeff Smith recently announced that he is releasing Bone in yet another book form (apart from the collected 9 volumes and the one-volume edition). This time Scholastic is reprinting all 9 Bone books with a brand new full color interior.

My best friend also loves Bone, though he hasn't finished the entire saga yet. He did, however, remark to me of once seeing one chapter of Bone appear in a Disney Adventures magazine in full color that was rendered jsut as well as the color covers of the books. He cannot stop raving about how glorious it was. All he could ever say was that the entire epic should be colored. Now his wish as come true.

So, I got the new color book from Amazon today (fun note: this actually marks my third copy of Out From Boneville (I have the TPB and the one-volume edition)).

So far I've only flipped through it and I have to admit that the coloring is impressive, especially when the situations are very tense, the coloring is just the right mood.

It's not any better than the B&W, though, which I was almost expecting after my friend's rantings and ravings. Actually, from the few scenes I read and pages I flipped through, it just gives the story a slightly different feel. There are some parts that don't catch your eye as much (namely, the first shot of the Valley when Fone Bone finally arrives in the first chapter). There are parts that have a slightly different mood to them (such as Fone Bone's encounter with the Rat Creatures in the snow with the three lil' possums. In the new color version, it's actually snowing at the time. Rendered snowflakes grace the panels, but don't seem to particularly fit on top of everything. In the B&W version there was no hint that it was snowing during this part. Also, Lucius feels A LOT older with color because of the definite gray hair. As I read the B&W version, he didn't feel so old, even though I knew he was. I guess I still pictured him with reddish hair, like an Irishman or something. In any case, he does feel older in color). There are parts that look very nice with the color (notably the gathering of the rat creatures and the subsequent attack on Gran'ma Ben's farmhouse).

One thing that particularly bothers me, though, is not the color. It's the printing. On some pages (not all, in fact, less than half) Smith's lines are not nearly as crisp as in past editions of the book. Some of the line art stubbly as though these particular pages were scanned at a poorer resolutions than others. Most of the book is fine, and the lineart looks as it always has, as it should. It's just that a good number of pages I guess were just transferred poorly, or something, but it does bug.

I'll have to read this book from beginning to end to get a better feel for the color, I'm sure.

Has anybody else picked this up? What are your thoughts about the color and the effect on the story?

-Woody

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Post by Joey » Sun Jan 23, 2005 11:50 am

Last night, actually, I made a trip to Barnes & Noble to check this out. I'm a HUGE fan of Bone, but after buying it all in individuate issues, and then in the One Volume edition, I decided to give Bone a rest. Some day, perhaps I'll buy the color versions to read it all that way.

Anyway, after looking through the color edition, I think it's "so-so." Yeah, I did notice some of the reproduction issues you brought up about the linework. But mostly, I'm just not a big fan of the "airbrush" kind of look that its colored in. I don't know, sometimes it looks too soft or out of focus, you know what I mean? Personally, I didn't really like the falling snow that was added, it was sort of distracting I though, and all that fuzziness just added this out of focus look that I dislike. Also, my biggest beef with it is the rosey cheeks that all of the Bones were given. I don't know, it just looks to me like they have bad makeup on.

Okay, that said, don't get me wrong. I'm TOTALLY excited that these Scholastic volumes are being put out. Smith went about it the best way possible. He's getting more exposure, and the Scholastic volumes will be available in more places, and will get more kids reading them. Heck, I had to look through the childrens section rather than the graphic novel section. I'm glad that Smith made sure that he wasn't going to be censored, even in the later volumes where it gets heavier. And I'm glad that he's using his own colorist. Hamaker was working on a color version already, before the deal with Scholastic, and Smith works closely with him to make sure it looks the way he wants it. Also, I want to add that one thing I like about the colors are the color choices. The muted palette is beautiful. And the way it's used to set tone and establish environment is right on. I just have a few problems with some of the stylistic choices. But whatever, Bone's covers and things have always been colored this way, so I'm not surprised or too incredibley turned off by it.

Like I said, Bone is one of my all time favorites, and some day I would like to get these Scholastic volumes. But for now, I'll just settle with checking them out in the store...
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Post by JonM » Fri Feb 04, 2005 10:16 pm

Just thought I'd say that I found this website because of the color-edition.

I went to a local book signing where Jeff Smith was promoting the new Scholastic books. There was a nice Q&A before the signing. It was quite interesting to see a comic book artist in a regular ol' bookstore.

Good times were had by all.

(Not to mention I got a nice sketch of Thorn for my one-volume edition. ^_^)

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Post by Captain Uglyhead » Tue Feb 08, 2005 5:38 am

I don't think it's the whole one-volume edition, but there is a pretty thick-looking Bone compilation (Out From Boneville, I think) down at the local Coles that I'm considering acquiring.

I remember seeing some bits and pieces of Bone in those old Disney Adventures mini-magazines. It was good.

Stupid, stupid, rat creatures. :o
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Post by Joey » Tue Feb 08, 2005 10:10 am

Well, I highly recommend Bone. It's one of my absolute favorites. The one-volume softcover is still available, if I'm not mistaken, and its a really good deal (especially online, where you can find it for $27 rather than $40), so I'd look for that while you can. In a few months, it will be out of print.
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Post by dave roman » Wed Feb 09, 2005 8:28 pm

Captain Uglyhead wrote:
I remember seeing some bits and pieces of Bone in those old Disney Adventures mini-magazines. It was good.

Stupid, stupid, rat creatures. :o

I was a bit happier with the Disney Adventures color stylings on Bone, myself...but I'm pretty snobby when it comes to coloring of things I liked just fine in B&W.
But I think kids will certainly dig the more "CGI/airbrush" color effects in the new editions. They love that show-offy stuff. And it's just cool that they will be so readily available to kids in mass market form.

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Post by KSBrennan » Fri Feb 11, 2005 9:49 pm

What do I do? I have the single issues. I have the first 6 trades. I was about to buy the last few and then saw the one volume edition and got that because it was cheaper than 3 trades.

As much as I love Jeff Smith he's killing the long time fan with these. I want the colour books as well but how many of the same books do they expect me to buy?

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Post by Joey » Fri Feb 11, 2005 9:59 pm

Well, the One-Volume has corrections and added scenes that aren't even in the first 6 volumes that you have. The color editions are working from the One-Volume, so they will be the same as that, except in color. Hope that helps...
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Post by Grasshopper » Sat Feb 19, 2005 2:17 pm

Was there a hardbound version of the One Volume Editon? I thought that had heard about, but I can't find it anywhere.
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Post by Joey » Sat Feb 19, 2005 4:44 pm

Yes, there was a Hardcover, and it was super limited, had a signed & numbered print inside, red ribbon bookmark, gold leaf edges to the pages, and cost $150. I've never made such a ridiculous purchase in my life, but felt compelled to...I'm kind of embarrassed to admit that I bought it, but I love it very much.

It's totally classy, so go for it if you feel like spending an arm and a leg, now that it's sold out, I'm sure it goes for more. I know my bank account is still angry with me...
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Post by Grasshopper » Sat Feb 19, 2005 10:41 pm

Rats. (lame pun intended)

I already tried looking on eBay, but there was only one Paperback edition on there. I'll have to keep search, and start saving if I really want it.
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Post by dan » Thu Mar 03, 2005 8:25 am

I just bought the one volume edition (black and white) for $7.00. It was on sale at the Virgin Store in Chicago and I had a $25.00 gift card. Sorry, I just wanted to brag a little. :)

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